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  1. #1

    Unhappy I have read the posts and tried everything: still cloudy white water

    0 Not allowed!
    I have 4 goldfish in 55 gal of cloudy white water. I have done several 20 gal dechlorinated water changes, water conditioner, water clarifier, etc. and it is still cloudy. This has been going on since we set it up a month ago. A for several weeks the water had been fine; the last few days the nitrites went really high. I added some bacteria and it is still high. I am thinking about starting over, but my quarantine take is 5 gal and these are good size fish. Any suggestions?

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    What's the ammonia at? I'd suggest daily 95%+ water change with water that matches the tank's specs until the bacteria catches up. Any way you can take the fishes to a LFS or someone with a cycled tank? This way you can start over until the track is cycled.

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Sorry you're having issues - but it's not as bad as you think.
    4 gold fish in a 55 is good. Not too many and a nice size tank.
    What's going on is that your tank is not yet cycled (see cycling with fish in my signature line)
    What you're seeing is a bacterial bloom - completely natural in a new tank and it will go away. A bacterial bloom is good because it means you are growing beneficial bacteria in your filter, on your filter media and in your substrate and on decorations. you WANT this.

    What you need to be concerned about, however, are the nitrites. Nitrites are toxic and can kill your fish. You didn't say how high they are but you need to keep them at .25ppm while your tank is cycling. The way to do that is with water changes. LARGE daily and sometimes 2X per day water changes until the nitrites subside.

    The way it works is first you see ammonia, then you see nitrites and then ammonia and nitrites drop to 0 and you will also see nitrates (you might even see them earlier)

    So while you cycle your tank your goal is to keep ammonia and or nitrites at around .25 ppm and if either go higher - again - water change.
    Once you have 0 ammonia and nitrites then your tank is cycled and you want to then keep your nitrates no higher than 20ppm. You should be able to accomplish this with weekly water changes of around 50% and regular gravel vacs.

    Gold fish are high waste producers. (The poop a lot) While you are cycling,feed them very lightly to avoid the production of excess ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.

    If you could tell us what your ammonia and nitrites and nitrates read it would help.
    Hope this helps and keep asking questions.

    edit: Spardas was posting the same time I was :o) His suggestion is a good one. Cycling fishless is much better on you and the fish. I assumed, however, that since you had had them this long, you couldn't take them back.
    Last edited by fishmommie; 09-08-2013 at 08:08 PM.
    30 g FW planted:corys, female ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, rummies,
    15 g FW planted:2 male guppies, neons, pygmy corys, clown pleco, 4 types of shrimp, assassin snails
    90 Gal Journal:
    fishless cycling:
    fish in cycling:

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    Have you read this? Cycling with fish
    "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." Carl Sagan

    ~ 350 Litre Tank Journal ~ ~ 30 Litre Tank Journal ~

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

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    0 Not allowed!
    My only addition to what has been suggested, is to not use "clarifiers" in a tank with fish. These generally work by binding microscopic particulate matter into larger particles that can supposedly be more easily and quickly removed by the filter, but the chemicals also bind fish gills. Let nature handle things; it may take longer but it will last and the fish will be healthy.

    Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

  6. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    + to Byron. All you need is a good dechlorinator (something like Seachems Prime).
    Another note (in case you haven't yet read the cycling stickie in my sig line) don't mess with anything in your tank while you're cycling. Don't touch the filters or the filter media. Don't vac the gravel unless the poo is unsightly and if so, only skim the surface of the gravel to suck up the worst of it. don't dig into the gravel as your BB is still growing there.
    And never ,ever, change your filter media (cartridges, sponges, bioballs, whatever). Even after your cycle is complete, only rinse the media in water you've just removed from the tank (never tap water) or you'll kill your BB that you've worked so hard to grow.
    30 g FW planted:corys, female ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, rummies,
    15 g FW planted:2 male guppies, neons, pygmy corys, clown pleco, 4 types of shrimp, assassin snails
    90 Gal Journal:
    fishless cycling:
    fish in cycling:

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for the answers. I am only using test strips and They do not have an ammonia reading; any suggestions on which strips/test kits are better. A week ago, my readings were great, but without knowing the ammonia level, the tank may not have had time to mature. I have had that tank up for a month and would think it would be OK. I have added a bacteria product, hoping to speed up the process and get my levels back down. The levels of nitrite and nitrate are off the scale this morning.

    This is what I am thinking: throw these big fish in my 5 gal quarantine tank, start over, add Tetra SafeStart (Start-Up) product and get them back into the tank as quickly as possible. What do you think?

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    3 Not allowed!
    Many people here recommend the API master test kit for testing, because it has everything you need to test for, is rather reliable and economical value.

    DO NOT put your goldfish in the 5 gallon tank, as the issue you are having will just move with the fish if its a cycling issue and will get out of hand 10 times as fast in that limited space.

    DO just use good clean water changes. No extra chemicals aside from the dechlorinator. Its a fish tank.. not a science project/witch cauldron. All you need to do is dilute out the nitrites/nitrates/ammonia so that you are a bit ahead of the production from your fish. Tetra SafeStart is not a replacement for a cycle.

  9. #9


    1 Not allowed!
    Must people here use the api freshwater master test kit. If your nitrate and nitrite readings are of the chart and you have fish in the tank you need to do a large water change immediately. When cycling with fish you have to do water changes any time ammonia or Nitrites are above 0.25
    Read the fish in cycling sticky for more info about cycling

    Edit: Guess we were typing at the same time trilliane!
    46 gallon bowfront: 1 angelfish, 1 blue guorami, 9 cherry barbs, 9 harlequin rasboras

    29 gallon dwarf puffer tank

    36 gallon bowfront: Currently 7 rummynose tetras, 7 neon tetras, 3 panda cory cats, 3 julii cory cats. Soon to have a betta!

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks to all for taking the time to answer my post; greatly appreciated.

    I did two 20 gal water changes yesterday and brought it down to nitrites=5.0 nitrates=20. I plan on doing more water changes today and adding some floating plants today.

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